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Monday, June 28, 2010

No matter what you decide to call them, they are good!

When I was a little girl, my paternal grandmother used to live with us.  She had a little apartment in our basement that consisted of a living room, two bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom.

Every Sunday after church, my family would squeeze in around her kitchen table and eat Sunday lunch.  My grandmother loved to cook for us.  I think for her, fried chicken, homemade egg noodles, country style green beans, potato salad and whatever dessert she happened to be in the mood to fix was just another way of letting us know she loved us.

My mom has taken on this tradition.  Ever since we moved back here 4 and a half years ago, my mom has cooked Sunday lunch for my family and my brother.  And I think for her, too, it is just one more way of showing us she loves us.

My mom always has desert for us.  Yesterday, she had Ooey Gooey Butter Bars.  She has made these before but the ones she served  yesterday had been made with chocolate cake mix instead of the normal yellow cake mix she normally uses. 

During lunch Sarah asked if it was time to eat the Ishy Squishy Squares yet. 

Last night, before bed, Peter who had been playing outside with the neighbors came in and complained that he was supposed to get another Ooey Gooey Butter Bar after dinner and that he had been too busy playing to get one.

Oh, what the heck, I thought.  I want one too.   

As I was putting the bars on napkins for them, Peter said, "Mommy, hurry up and bring me one of those Squares of Deliciousness! I'm starving!"

I guess no matter what you decide to call them, they are good!

Mom, thanks for all of the delicious lunches and all of the love that is served around your table every Sunday!

Ooey Gooey Butter Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 box yellow cake mix (or chocolate)
1 egg
1 stick of butter (melted)

Mix together and pat into the bottom of a 13x9 pan.

2 eggs
1 package cream cheese (softened)
1 stick butter (melted)
1 box of confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Beat ingredients together until smooth.  Pour over the cake mix in the pan.  Bak 35-40 minutes.  Centure should be gooey.  Do not over bake.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summertime and the living is busy.

Fear not!  I am still here!  Between running (or slowly jogging but moving at a pace faster than walking), swim practice, swim meets, playdates, gardening (well, watching Dan garden), errands, laundry, cooking and sometimes house-cleaning and preparing for an upcoming vacation, we have been busy! 

When my sister-in-law Cathy came for Sarah's birthday two weekends ago, she brought goodies.  She always comes bearing gifts for both kids.  This visit, she brought Peter this science kit:

Peter loves science so he was very excited to receive it.  The kids and Aunt Cathy immediately conducted one of the experiments.  They swabbed the insides of their mouths, noses and tongues and placed the "matter" into petri dishes with some sort of gelatine and water mixture and then were told to wait a few days to see if anything grew.

Well, grow it did.

After two and a half weeks, this is what we now have inside the petri dishes:

Pretty disgusting, huh?  I guess the science kit lives up to its name!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Quack! Quack!

My kids have never had official swim lessons - unless you count the two hours they had last summer with our swimming pools life guards.  And to me that doesn't really count.  Because they just spent that time kicking and blowing bubbles.  But I guess you've got to start somewhere.

So this year, I put them on the swim team.  I had heard from several people that it was a great way for the kids to really learn to swim and it was cheap. So guess what kids?  You are going to be on the swim team! 

On the very first night of practice, the coaches had all the kids swim from one end of the pool to the other.  And they told the kids that if they needed to hold the ropes and take a rest and catch their breath they could do that.  Apparently my kids didn't hear that. 

The whistle blew and all 99 kids on the swim team started to swim their first lap.  And while all the kids were swimming, I kept hearing a strange gasping sound.  I said to Jennifer, "What's that strange noise?"  Then a few minutes later I said, "Now I hear crying? Who's crying?"

It turns out the strange gasping sound was Peter trying to catch his breath and the crying was Sarah.  I went to the edge of the pool to check on them and they both got out crying and saying, "We don't  like this.  We don't want to be on the swim team!"

The swim team coach (who also happens to be Sarah's Kindergarten teacher) came over and reassured them that if they needed to catch their breath they could stop and hold the rope. 

And then I gave them a huge pep talk about how we are Cotells and Cotells don't quit.  I said this several times and something seemed to click in their heads.  And for the last two weeks, before every practice, I said, "We are Cotells!  What does that mean?"  And they both answer, "We don't quit!"  And they have been swimming their little hearts out (and taking frequent breaks on the ropes) ever since!

Last night was their first meet and I will admit, I was just as nervous as they were.  Before we pulled out of the driveway, I said a  little prayer out loud in the car.  After which Peter said, "I'm still nervous."  I tried unsussessfully to convince him that nerves would make him go faster.

I am proud to say that Sarah completed all three of her events and Peter completed both of his.  They are both very slow (especially Peter who came in last both times) but they didn't quit even when they were scared or tired. 

Peter was very dejected by his last place finishes so I told him that we aren't going to worry about how he finished against all of the other kids but that we are going to work to improve his time next week.  That seemed to appease him a little.  Although, honestly, I think his main worry is that Sarah is going to get a ribbon and he won't.  (Which she probably will because there weren't as many 6-year-old girl swimmers as there were 7-year-old boy swimmers.)

The team name is the Ducks.  And here are my little ducks.  Quack! Quack!

Before the meet.  (Aren't the cute in their little Speedos?)

Sarah at the beginning of the Freestyle Relay
Here she comes and she's sticking close to that rope!

Made it!
Peter (in lane 2) at the beginning of the 50m Freestyle.
Here he comes - slowly but surely!
And there he goes back to the other end!
Here is Sarah waiting for her next event.  The kids like to write on themselves with Sharpies.  This says, "Go, Ducks, Go!  and Quack!"   (Our team name is the Arcadia Ducks.)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

This is what happens when my son is bored at his sister's Daisy Banquet...

...and he gets my camera:

I think his sister may have also been a little bored because I don't think he took all of these by himself!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

BFF pictures now. Field Day pictures later.

Yesterday was field day at school and while I took lots of pictures of my kids exhibiting their physical prowess, these turned out to be my favorites:

Sarah and her BFFs Tori and Kysten

Peter's BFFs Turner and Griffen and Peter

Monday, June 7, 2010

I fought the law and the law won.

We had a busy, busy weekend.

Sarah had her friend party on Saturday.  And yes, that means we will be having a family party this weekend.  We like to spread out the love and the parties!

I fought with Sarah over her birthday party when we were making plans.  There is Tea House nearby that hosts birthday parties and special occasions.  They send out the invites, they have tons and tons of princess gowns for the girls to dress up in, they have an etiquette lesson, they have tea with tiny sandwichs, they provide the tea pot shaped birthday cake and they send each girl home with a miniature tea set.

I thought it sounded perfect for Sarah and at six years old, I figured this might be the last opportunity for it.  But when she found out her "boyfriend" Evan couldn't come (I told her girls only at this type of party) she didn't want to do it at the tea house. 

Anyway, we fought and she won.

So we had the party at Cheer Mania.  Cheer Mania is a cheer leading gym but on the weekends the gym is filled with inflatibles, a foam pit and Ms. Debra - the best birthday party hostess ever.

So we went to Cheer Mania and had a great time.  I still would have liked to have had a tea party.  (Pout, pout.)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Six is.....

Six is....


Six is beautiful.

Six loves to...

Watch SpongeBob
Eat ice cream
Change her clothes
Swing on the swingset
Play with her friends
Do her homework
Read to her stuffed animals
Sing at the top of her lungs
Annoy her brother
Give Mommy and Daddy big squeezes at bedtime
Catch worms
Splash in the bathtub

Happy 6th Birthday, Baby Girl!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Well, excuuuuuuuse me!

The Silly Bandz craze has hit our house.

Before school the other day, Peter ran back upstairs to put on his Silly Bandz and I asked, "Did you forget your bracelets?"

He stopped dead in his tracks, turned around, snorted and said, "They're not bracelets, Mom.  They're Silly Bandz."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Star Fuyshhh, Jlay Fuyshhh, Poufr Fuyshhh

I love to open the kid's backpacks every afternoon when they get home from school.  There is always some sort of treat for me - a spelling test, a drawing, a writing assignment. 

And now I have proof that they aren't being completely honest when I ask the question, "What did you do at school today?" and get "nothing" as their typical response.  Busted! 

Sarah's backpack always contains some sort of writing that she did that day.  Her teacher will give the class a prompt and then they have to write several sentences.  And they aren't allowed to ask for help on spelling.  They are supposed to sound out the words and do the best they can.

Sarah usually spells her sight words correctly but the rest of her spelling usually cracks me up.  I think she likes to see how long she can make the words.

They have been studying ocean life and it looked as if she was asked to draw some things that live in the ocean and label them.

Here is what she wrote and my translation:

Star fuyshhh - Star fish

Euyll - Eel

Poufr fuyshhh - Puffer fish

Wauyll - Whale

Ockduypusss - Octopuss

Jlay fuyshhh - Jelly fish

Cauyb - Crab

Notice that she spelled fish the same way each time.  She may not be correct - but she's consistant!